🎨Colouring the mind 🎨

 Adult colouring books have become a bit of a fad in past while. Typically colouring has been seen as a children’s activity but nowadays adult colouring books can be found on bestsellers lists worldwide. It may come across as a fun trend but colouring books actually have therapeutic abilities. Colouring is a form of art therapy which researchers have found to have great health benefits for people coping with stress, illness. It helps people de-stress and can be used as a coping tool to manage different types of mental illness. When we colour we become focused which is often difficult to achieve during periods of distress or illness. Similar to meditation, our minds become relaxed and as we focus on the activity in that moment we are also practicing mindfulness.

Throughout the task we are concentrating on the different designs, ensuring we don’t colour outside of the lines, choosing what colour we want to use next. These thoughts can replace negative thoughts with pleasant ones. We also experience a feeling of satisfaction when we complete the picture. When we feel anxious, sad, stressed or ‘pissed off’ we can find it difficult to concentrate on tasks. Colouring can help you to regain focus even if it is just for a few minutes. Every little helps!

This is all well and good if we are good colourers and are not particular about going outside the lines. BUT if you are in any way a perfectionist or are feeling a bit down in the dumps, making a mistake may actually cause unnecessary anxiety and stress.  I suppose it’s like everything, it will work for one person and won’t work for the next.

 Mandalas are said to be the most effective design to colour for therapeutic purposes. These designs have existed since the beginning of time and are considered a sacred symbol. The mandala design is seen to have healing powers that promotes relaxation, balances the body’s energies, enhance your creativity, and support healing. The Tibetan monks believe the mandala represents a multi-dimensional field of consciousness and state of enlightenment. The native Americans also believe it symbolises sacred ceremonial space and the circle of life. Worldwide the mandala symbolises harmony, unity, wholeness and healing. It’s healing powers come from its design. It’s symmetrical form with repeated patterns and complexity draw individuals into a meditative state. I suppose it’s similar to hypnotism when they use those circle type things that move around and put people into a relaxed state?

 So far I have bought three different types of adult colouring books. If there’s something new out to but I’ll buy it! My small collection consists of a magical Harry Potter one (very detailed not very therapeutic)(Easons, €14.60) Mindfulness through geometrics (really fun with loads of pretty designs)(Easons, €13.99) and a simple Mandala one (simple but effective)(Deals, €1.99).

J x


⭐️A Year of Living Mindfully: Week 2⭐️

 Through reflection we become more focused which enables personal growth and learning from our life experiences. The first section of Week 2’s activity highlights the importance of reflecting by simply scribbling on a page or using your eyes to observe. It allows us to keep focused on our goals to ensure we are heading in the right direction. 

 In college S.M.A.R.T goals were always drilled into our heads (Small, Measruable, Achievable, Realistic, Time). Specific short term and long term goals are essential to keep you focused in life. The amazing feeling you get once you’ve achieved them is just fabulous! Now I don’t mean setting yourself a goal like running a marathon next week and only giving yourself 7 days to train. Instead book a place on the marathon in 3 months time as your long term goal and set yourself small goals leading up to it like starting off this week doing a 10 minute run then work your way up. 

 Daily reflection helps us move forward and ensures we don’t take two steps back along the way. We reflect on how far we’ve come with our goals, what steps were taking towards achieving them, and any what new goals have. It helps us identify any good or bad patterns we recognise in our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We usually reflect with our friends through a phone call of how the night before went and how ridiculous so and so’s outfit was or maybe you come home from work and reflect with your family on how a colleague really p*****d you off today! Others might use diaries or social media to reflect. 

 I personally like to finish my day off by reflecting with family or friends by using this simple method: what was your peak and pit of the day?. This helps me identify good and bad points of my day. For example my pit of the day was missing my train and my peak of the day was getting a free coffee. Sometimes I don’t have any pits and sometimes I have too many to list off. At the end of a holiday or trip I like to do this  also. Reflecting back on arguments or conversations about who said what and how you responded when she said or expressing how they made you feel is another form. For example reflecting on going for a walk to get away from bad vibes at home and reflecting on your feelings before, during and after. 

 The second half of Week 2 teaches us how to do a ‘body scan’ on ourselves to help us tune into our thoughts, feelings, emotions and senses. Sometimes we tend to push a thought to the back of our brain because it is unpleasant and makes us feel bad. We also tend to intellectualise our experiences. These can both use up a lot of energy and can leave us feeling numb. Feeling emotions both good and bad, are what makes us feel alive! Tuning into our bodies is when we become curious about our emotions, feelings, thoughts and senses. This can be done through the use of the body scan. The following steps will guide you through your first body scan:……

This section also gives easy to follow steps for strong feelings of discomfort or pain:…..

These exercises can be done before work, during your break, first thing when you wake up, before you go to bed….. Any time of the day when you have an extra few minutes to reflect and be mindful. Iv done these exercises once and once only. I keep telling myself I’ll open the book and do it again but never find the time or so I keep telling myself anyway. 

Looking forward to Week 3! 

J x